Best Dingle and North Kerry Walks – Kerrymaire
Kerry Loop Walks
The Dingle Peninsula has scenery to rival any in Ireland and has a number of excellent walking routes. North Kerry also has some very good walks, mainly of the easy to moderate variety, some of which are well suited to families. We have blogs on other walks in Kerry as well as other information on Kerry
- Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Kenmare Walks
- Kerry Hikes and Long Walks
- Beaches of Kerry
- Drive Ring of Kerry
Dingle Loop Walks
1. Ballygamboon Wood, Castlemaine, Kerry
Distance 1.7km. Difficulty -Medium – Level 3.
Ballygamboon Wood is on the western side of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on the R70 Tralee to Killorglin road, with the car park on the opposite side of the road from the woods entrance. Be careful crossing as there is a bad bend on the road. The car park and scenic picnic site have stunning views of the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks rising above the village of Castlemaine which is 5km beyond the woods.
The steep ascent to over 200m above sea level has a steady slope upwards of 1.7 km to the scenic viewing points at the top of the hill. This is close to the Ring of Kerry route and the road to Dingle stretches west from Castlemaine so it’s a good place to stop for a walk between the two driving routes. It’s not suited to buggies or wheelchairs and dogs should be kept on leads.
2. Killaclohane Woods, Milltown, Co Kerry.
Distance 2km loop walk. Difficulty – Easy – Fitness level 2.
Killaclohane is between Castlemaine and Miltown, Co Kerry on the N70. Killaclohane is a woodland area loop only 2km in length which passes close to a number of archaeological features along the way. There is a mass rock in the middle of this small wood, used during penal times.
3. Inch Beach, Co Kerry.
Distance – 3km linear beach walk. Difficulty- Easy- Level 2 walk.
Inch Beach walk is not a loop walk as such but you can walk along over two km on the golden sand of this long sandspit and return to the car park via the sand dunes on the stunning coastal R561 Castlemaine to Dingle Road. It’s a beautiful walk any day of the year and a great place to view the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula across Dingle Bay which opens out dramatically in front of the beach.
4. Brackloon Loop Walk, Annascaul, Co Kerry.
Distance – 6km loop Walk. Difficulty – Moderate- Level 3 walk.
This walk is part of the Dingle Way near Annascaul village, home of the Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean. His family still run the South Pole Inn, the pub he started when he retired from seafaring. Brackloon Loop is a 6km walk that starts in Annascaul where the main arterial road, the N86 Dingle to Tralee route, via Camp runs through the village.
5. Lighthouse Walk, Dingle, Co Kerry.
Distance – 6km loop walk. Difficulty – Easy.
The Lighthouse Walk is a short walk in the Dingle town area. The route starts and finishes in Dingle town and follows the shoreline of Dingle Harbour to the picturesque Dingle lighthouse. Take a Sea Safari trip from Dingle.
6 Way of the Waves – Slí na nDúnta.
Distance 8.5km Difficulty – Moderate – Level 3 walk.
This walk starts and ends at the Museum Ballyferriter ( Baile an Fheirtéaraigh) , has a map at the museum and is no. 70 on the Discovery series. The route takes you to Smerwick Harbour and along the beach called Béal Bán ( white Strand). Walk along the sandy beach to Dún an Air a promontory fort where the over 700 Spanish, Irish and Desmond soldiers , who had come to support a rebelion in 1580 and were killed. A memorial sculpture was erected in 1980 at this most intact site site in Ireland. Turn to walk towards the Three sisters – sharp peaks where Star Wars was filmed in the 2016 ??? The headlands are called the Triúr Deirféar ( Three sisters) with individual names of Binn Anraoi ( Henry’s Peak), Binn Meánach ( Middle Peak) and Binn Diarmada ( Dermot’s Peak). Turn left past a modern graveyard back to Ballyferriter village along the lanes.
7. Loop walk Dunquin, Slea Head/Lúb na Cill Dún Chaoin.
Distance 5km. Time 1.5 to 2 hrs. Difficulty – Level 2 Easy.
This loop walk starts and finishes at the spectacular Blasket Centre car park. Make sure to visit the Centre which tells the story of the life on the Great Blasket Island which was finally abandoned in 1953. The viewing platform over the sea gives stunning views of the island. There is a map at the car park. Turn left as you leave the Blasket Centre and follow the green and yellow arrows uphill. The yellow route is for the Dingle Way route while the loop walk follows the green route, turning left down a laneway. Follow the sandy route from B to C, crossing the main R599 Slea Head route from Ballyferriter to the coast. The track takes you down to the sea. There are some ruins, all that is left of the schoolhouse built for the filming of Ryan’s Daughter in 1969. There is also ancient St Gobnait’s Well and Church.
8. Path of the Saints Pilgrim Route/Cosán na Naomh.
Distance 18km route Time 4-6 hours. Difficulty Level 4.
This route starts and ends at Ventry beach, with a map in the car park. The route passes ancient churches and ringforts.
1 Ventry Beach (Fionntrá) – Long sandy beach, suited to swimming and with a car park.
2 Kilcolman (Cill na g’olmán)- This was a monastic site, with a mound still visible, in the middle of a field
3 Rahinane Castle and Ringfort (Ráthanáin) – a 15th-century tower house ruin and a much earlier ringfort to the left on private property.
4 Temlenacloonagh (Teampaill na Cuanach) – Translating as the Temple of the Bay, this small site contains the ruins of a church.
5 Gallarus Oratory – this famous landmark is the only intact example of oratory from the 10th or 11th centuries. Entry fees apply and it’s managed by the OPW with a small interpretative site beside it.
6 Gallarus Castle – this 15th-century castle townhouse was recently restored.
7 Caherdorgan (Cathair Deargáin) – This national monument dates from the 8-9th centuries and is made up of circular rooms or Clocháins.
8 Chancellor’s House – this was said to be the residence of the Chancellors of the Diocese of Ardfert.
9 Kilmalkeldar (Cill Macilchéadair) – This church is dedicated to St Maolcéadair who died in . 616 and is the most important religious site on the peninsula.
10 Rock Art – Recently discovered rock art found here
11 Currauly (Cork Aille)- was part of the pilgrims’ route to Mount Brandon.
12 Mount Brandon (Cnoc Bréannain) – this mountain has been a focus of pilgrimage since medieval times. The pilgrimage path finished at the top of Mount Brandon. People traditionally make a pilgrimage on the last Sunday in June.
9. Brandon Village Sauce Creek Walk – Siúlóid a t’Sáis.
Distance Time 4-5 hours.Difficulty – Level 3 rising to 410m.
From Dingle drive or cycle the narrow road up the mountain to the Connor Pass, turning up past the Hillgrove Hotel. From Tralee take the road through Castlegregory to Brandon Creek on the north side of the headland from Dingle.
This walk starts at sea level in Brandon village by Brandon Creek with a steep ascent to over 400m. Take the road to Brandon Point (Srón Bhróin) over a stile along the green track to the lookout post from World War 2. Follow the trackway for a few hundred metres before turning right to the summit and a cairn called An Buacín at 251m above sea level. Then further up to an Sliabh Glás (Slieveglas on map) at 324m. Be careful not to cross the wire around the creek as it can be very dangerous due to land subsidence. Continue to the top An Sál at 410m. Follow the river past the deserted village to the old Bog Road and follow the signs back to Brandon village.
North Kerry Walks
10. Tralee Lee Valley Walk.
Distance 4.9 linear walk. Difficulty – Easy. Family and wheelchair friendly.
In Tralee Town, the Tralee Lee Valley walk is near the N86 and is signposted. This linear walk is 4.9km following the old path of the Tralee Ship Canal to Blennerville village with the Slieve Mish mountains as the backdrop. Suited to all the family, buggy and wheelchair users.
11. Ballyseedy Wood Walk, Tralee.
Distance 4k. Difficulty – Easy – Level2 Walk.
Ballyseedy Wood is off the N21 with a car park shortly before it meets the N22 link road at Tralee. Access is off the N21 at Ballygarry House Hotel and is signposted. This woodland loop walk is ideal for the family and for dog walkers.
12. Lyracrompane Loop Walk.
Distance – 4.3km. Difficulty – Easy- level 1 walk.
The village of Lyracrompane is just off the N69 from Tralee to Listowel. The valley of Lyreacrompane is located between the Rivers Smearlagh and Crumpane. The river walk is 4.3km in length and was used in Penal times by local Catholics going to mass. Running adjacent to the river for the most part, this walk is really pleasant and peaceful.
13. Listowel Literary Walk.
Distance 4km. Difficulty – Easy- level 2 walk.
Listowel town has a literary walk, an easy 4km stroll along the banks of the River Feale and around Listowel Town Park.
You may want to look at the following blogs to help plan your holiday in Kerry
- Ring of Kerry Walks. – Killarney and Kenmare.
- Kerry Hikes and Long Walks.
- Beaches of Kerry
- Drive the Ring of Kerry
- Skellig Boat Trips
Contact Activity Days Ireland with any comments or photos on this post- we love recommendations. Guided tours for individuals and groups can be organised in Co Kerry – contact ActivityDays.ie